Press release №686
07.05.2007
FROM CLASS STRUGGLE TO CLASS COOPERATION

IN BRIEF

MOSCOWApril, 28, 2007. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) submits information about how Russians defend their labor rights.

More than a half (60%) of respondents admitted that they do not do anything when their rights are violated. And the activity of Russians in fighting for their rights is declining: in April, 2004 there were 53% of those.

The most common way of defending the labor rights is reporting to the heads of a place of work directly. For last three years the part of those who did that has slightly declined from 21% down to 17%. Other common reaction to violation of the labor rights is changing the job (7%).

There are even less (5%) of those who used personal contacts (such as the help from friends, acquaintances and relatives), who went to law (4%), simply started working less and worse (2%) in order to solve the problem. Few respondents participated in meetings, strikes and other protest actions; fought for their rights using force or threat of applying such force; had to give money, gifts (1% per each group).

In the light of all these ways of solving the labor disputes and defending the rights, the appeals to trade union or to the work collective council gets a modest place in the end of the list since only 3% of the interviewed employees have done that.

Muscovites and St Petersburg residents are the most active ones when their labor rights were violated: 39% of workers have taken some measures in order to settle the labor disputes. The most passive position is taken by the workers living in small (up to 100 thousand) towns - two thirds (67%) did not undertake anything when their labor rights were violated.

Residents of the national Capital (21%) and rural inhabitants (20%) most often appeal to the heads when the labor disputes occurred. But capital ones more often than any other solve the problem by leaving the work and getting hired on another one (14% against 7% on the average on sample).

Muscovites and St Petersburg residents go to the law less often (4%), than inhabitants of other big cities (9%), but more often, than rural area inhabitants (1%). They also resort to force methods (4%) and « silent strikes » (3%).

In order to solve labor problems inhabitants of average cities (100-500 thousand) would rather ‘attach' friends, acquaintances and relatives (8%), than appeal to the trade unions (1%).

It is the most easy to defend the labor rights for managers and production workers, and the most hard it is for their subordinates-employees.

Unqualified (57%) and qualified (50%) workers are limited in opportunities to defend their labor rights to the highest extent. The management of their enterprise is relied on by specialists with higher education, occupied in nonproductive (34%) and industrial (32%) spheres. The heads of departments are relied on by specialists - production workers (29%), and also by government and municipal personnel (25%).

Military men and militiamen, and also members of other ‘power' organizations choose ‘another' alternative in the survey (24%). And businessmen, the majority of whom are the employers appeal to the state instances - State Labor Inspectorate and other supervising bodies (9%).

In case of the labor conflict members of trade union more often appeal for support to the trade union and labor collective council (8% of members and 1% nonmembers of trade union act so) and less often they change their job (4% against 9%). Thus we can draw a conclusion, that the referring to the trade union helps at least some of its members to solve the labor conflict with the employer.

All-Russia opinion poll was conducted by VCIOM, April, 21-22, 2007. 1600 respondents were interviewed in 153 population centers of 46 regions of Russia. The statistical error does not exceed 3.4%

When your labor rights were violated, in what ways were you defending your rights? (Unlimited number of responses;% of thosewho are employed)
 April 2004.July 2005.April 2007.
Referred to the heads at the enterprise211617
Referred to the trade unions, labor collective council423
Participated in meeting, strikes, other protest actions231
Went to law514
Used personal contacts (help from friends, acquaintances, relatives)545
Changed the job727
Started working less (not paid fair - not going to challenge myself)542
Fought for my rights using force or threat of applying such force111
Had to give money, gifts111
Other332
None536760
Difficult to answer577
When your labor rights were violated, in what ways were you defending your rights? (Unlimited number of responses;% of those who are employed; in different types of population centers)
 Moscow and St PetersburgMore than 500thousand100-500thousandLess than 100 thousandVillage
Referred to the heads at the enterprise2115191120
Referred to the trade unions, labor collective council33143
Participated in meeting, strikes, other protest actions12220
Went to law49361
Used personal contacts (help from friends, acquaintances, relatives)45844
Changed the job146558
Started working less (not paid fair - not going to challenge myself)31222
Fought for my rights using force or threat of applying such force41  1
Had to give money, gifts11 11
Other223 1
None5455626760
Difficult to answer77567
No answer 2321
When labor rights were violated, how did you defend them?
 Union trade membersUnion trade nonmembers
Referred to the heads at the enterprise1718
Referred to the trade unions, labor collective council81
Participated in meeting, strikes, other protest actions21
Went to law54
Used personal contacts (help from friends, acquaintances, relatives)26
Changed the job49
Started working less (not paid fair - not going to challenge myself)13
Fought for my rights using force or threat of applying such force 1
Had to give money, gifts11
Other22
None6160
Difficult to answer86
No answer21

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